Today — less than two decades later — some parts of the former Yugoslavia are re-emerging as major tourist destinations. In recent years, I've enjoyed trips to countries that once belonged to Yugoslavia, including Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro. As tourist destinations, they offer profound natural beauty, a relaxing ambience, and a warm welcome. Life goes on here. Local people, while not in denial about the war, would rather not be constantly reminded of it. Many think about this ugliness in their past only when tourists ask them about it.
And yet — although I realize that, in some ways, it does a disservice to these places to view them through the lens of war — I can't help but think about those recent horrors as I travel here. Seeing the bruised remnants of Yugoslavia is painful yet wonderfully thought-provoking. And, because this blog is about how travel can change the way you think about the world, I hope you'll excuse my narrow focus on our visit to this region.
My next several blog entries cover my recent travels through Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Through these experiences, we'll get a look at the sectarian struggles that have shaped these regions. Nowhere else in Europe can you go so quickly from easy tourism to lands where today's struggles are so vivid and eye-opening.
About This Entry
You are reading "Lessons from the Former Yugoslavia: After the War", an entry posted on 19 June 2009 by Rick Steves.